February 14th is Valentine’s Day and the big brands and retailers are all vying for your attention. For many people the overt attempt by these businesses to get them to remember the date is successful; just observe the long lines at florists and candy purveyors. It’s a day for love and consumers, well, eat it up. But what about for businesses? Surely we don’t shower our clients with flowers and chocolates, yet shouldn’t we show them some love too, and more so, shouldn’t we be showing them this love on a consistent basis.
Providing customer care excellence is the one thing that all companies can do especially if they want to stand apart from the competition. The reasons are simple:
- Helps to turn your customers into raving fans that will you with excellent word of mouth.
- Minimizes customer attrition and creates loyal customers that will buy from you again and again and again.
- Makes for a more pleasant work environment and positive interactions with customers.
Here are 5 ways that you can start to turn your company into a customer service power player:
Be polite and friendly
Seems to be common sense, doesn’t it, yet how many times do you enter a store or phone a business only to be treated rudely or completely ignored. A smile and a pleasant greeting go far in laying a positive groundwork for what transpires next.
Know your service or product
A friendly demeanor is mandatory, however, it will not substitute for not having a basic understanding of your product or service. Misinformation or a lack of knowledge can sabotage the business relationship and should be avoided at all costs.
Go the extra mile
Dazzle your customers with “extra” care and attention, including a timely follow-up to ensure that everything worked out as expected, an offer to replace something with no questions asked, and always remember that the lifetime value of a customer is more important than being rigid about something that, in the long run, can cost you the customer’s business.
Be responsive and whenever possible, exceed customer expectations
We live in a world of “internet-time” where customers expect 24-7 accessibility, and while it’s perfectly acceptable that your business is not reachable 24-7 universe, you must be transparent about what customers can expect in terms of your response time. Make certain that you and your customers are on the same page and you will have a better chance of meeting, and even exceeding, their expectations,
Say thank you in many different ways
One of the things missing from many customer relationships is a simple thank you and not just at the time of purchase or business engagement but throughout the relationship. Consider sending thank you cards to show appreciation for the relationship, make outreach calls to say thanks as well as probe for suggestions for improvements and to demonstrate that you care.
Remember in these highly competitive times excellent customer care can be the key differentiator in your product or service category. Pat attention to your customers and you will be rewarded by longstanding relationships.